Results of the project

Good practices are here to stay

Good practices were disseminated and established in 2017–2018 as part of the Government’s key project ‘Health and wellbeing will be fostered and inequalities reduced’. Operators working to disseminate good practices were granted EUR 7.25 million in government funding.

This page provides information about the results of the nine projects that received government funding as part of the key project.

Resourceful Family – bringing joy, motivation and encouragement to the lives of families with children  

Before the key project, the Resourceful Family method was in use in 107 municipalities. Now it has been disseminated throughout Finland.

Nurses in schools and child health clinics have received training and practical tools to provide lifestyle guidance to families with children. They have also been given advice as to how to address topics such as children’s overweight.

Families receive the following resources, among others:

  • a self-evaluation card to help assess the family’s lifestyle
  • encouraging guidance material to support everyday choices
  • support for dealing with life changes using the family’s strengths
  • a website with materials, ideas and practical examples to draw upon

More information:

Strengthening lifestyle counselling in health and social services

Lifestyle counselling models for physical activity, dietary habits and sleep health have been adopted in 11 hospital districts.

Lifestyle counselling has been provided to those in greatest need, such as overweight adults, people who engage in little physical activity, and customers of mental health and substance abuse services. For example, activity monitoring devices can be used for lifestyle counselling and in monitoring its effectiveness.

Professionals receive the following resources, among others:

  • web-based training: addressing the issue, advice on exercising and nutrition, non-medical treatment of sleeplessness, systematic recording practices
  • digital methods and tools to facilitate work
  • regional lifestyle counselling networks and partnerships

More information in Finnish:

Establishing strength in old age programme helps older people living independently

Various municipal operators (sports and fitness services, organisations, healthcare and social welfare, technical services) work together to increase physical activity among older people living independently at home.

Currently, more than 76 per cent of people over 75 years of age live in a municipality where the model has been implemented. 

Benefits of the model for older people:

  • increased physical activity helps people live independently for longer
  • older people experience more inclusion and less loneliness when they participate in exercise activities
  • older people are involved in developing the activities (exercise panel, peer guidance and ‘go out with the elderly’ activities)

The model offers municipalities:

  • good practices for increasing health exercise among older people
  • instructor training and regional learning networks and workshops.

More information

Customers of mental health and substance abuse services receive support for smoking cessation 

Customers of mental health and substance abuse services receive wide-ranging support for smoking cessation in 11 hospital districts. 

User experts and peers provide important support. 

The skills of professionals are improved:

  • when they work in multi-professional working groups aiming to promote a smoke-free lifestyle
  • through a national web-based course (
  • when methods from the Current Care Guidelines are in place 

when information about smoking is entered systematically in client and patient information.

More information: (

Training improves mental health skills among ordinary people and professionals 

The Finnish Association for Mental Health has trained 600 new instructors in providing training to improve mental health skills.

Three different Mielenterveyden ensiapu® (Mental Health First Aid®) training courses were attended by 3,000 people in 2016, 7,000 people in 2017 and 10,000 people in 2018. Municipalities are advised to connect the training courses to their wellbeing reports, wellbeing plans, city strategies or other programmes, for example.

The following training courses are available:

  • Mental Health First Aid 1: positive effects of mental health, learning and practicing mental health skills
  • Mental Health First Aid 2: identifying symptoms, addressing the issue, early intervention and practicing skills
  • Young Mind First Aid: everyday challenges and phenomena, recognising warning signs, addressing the issue and preventing problems

More information  (

Methods for promoting mental wellbeing in vocational institutes

The Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention (EHYT) has trained 49 new instructors in its Substance Phenomenon and Group Phenomenon teaching methods.

Substance Phenomenon training courses have been attended by 8,828 students and 529 teachers at vocational institutes. The number of professionals who have participated in Group Phenomenon training is 1,574.

In the Substance Phenomenon course: 

  • 15–18-year-old students are divided into groups where they discuss the social, cultural and societal dimensions of substance use
  • students are given the tools to make well-informed decisions about their own substance use. 

Group Phenomenon training: 

  • is intended for all employees at the educational institute
  • the employees are given the tools to create and maintain good team spirit and engage in various discussions on wellbeing.

More information: (

First aid for people at risk of suicide in Lapland

The Lapland Hospital District conducted a trial using the Canadian ASIST training method, one of the most commonly used methods of suicide prevention worldwide.

The training is suitable for professionals above 18 years of age in various fields, such as police officers, teachers and professionals working in emergency services, but also for ordinary people, such as reindeer herders.

As of now, the training has been completed by 23 people in Utsjoki, 11 in Inari, 17 in Enontekiö, 20 in Ivalo, 15 in Sodankylä and 31 in Rovaniemi.

The training provides tools for:

  • identifying and enquiring about suicidal thoughts and supporting people at risk of suicide
  • agreeing together with a person at risk of suicide on how to prevent immediate danger of injury or death
  • identifying local community operators that can provide help and direct people to care.

More information: (In Finnish and Sami)

Suicide prevention skills for people working in primary healthcare

The training, offered by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), provides tools to help professionals identify individuals at risk for suicide and recognise risk factors related to self-destructive behaviour.

So far, a total of 1,679 professionals have received the training, of whom 604 work in primary healthcare, 262 in the social welfare sector, 127 in mental health services and 686 in other fields.

After the training: 

  • it is easier for professionals to interact with people at risk for suicide and ask them about their suicidal thoughts
  • professionals learn to identify the patient’s strengths that can help prevent suicide
  • Professionals gain increased know-how about follow-up measures and how to best refer individuals to treatment.

More information: (In Finnish)

Social kitchens reinforce residents’ inclusion

There are currently 25 social kitchens operating in Finland, while another 10 are under development.

Social kitchens: 

  • bring people together to do meaningful activities while cooking and eating

  • can operate in community centres, village halls, activity centres or wellbeing centres, or they can be established in available facilities

  • offer social guidance and support for seeking services, for example employment (TE) services or mental health services

More information in Finnish: